Riverview Redevelopment Continues to Move Ahead

Vancouver, February 11, 2010 — Nine projects to build further capacity for intensive and highly specialized mental health services in the Lower Mainland got underway today with the release of Requests for Proposal (RFP) for design and renovation work to accommodate the transfer of patients from Riverview Hospital.

“We are committed to providing the best supports for people facing challenges associated with mental illness and addiction,” said Health Services Minister Kevin Falcon. “That is why we made it a priority to fund mental health as well as building or expanding mental health facilities across our province.”

To date, 441 mental health beds have opened across the province as part of the devolution of Riverview Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority. Plans are being finalized to develop the remaining 402 beds of the Riverview Redevelopment project within regional facilities, including the projects going to RFP.

“Decentralizing specialized mental health care for people with serious mental health problems will bring the care and support that they need closer to their homes and into their communities,” said Bev Gutray, executive director of the Canadian Mental Health Association’s B.C. Division. “Best practices in mental health show individuals living with serious and persistent mental illness respond better to care in smaller, community-based facilities rather than in large institutions.”

The RFPs from Vancouver Coastal Health and Fraser Health total 318 beds and include:

- The third floor at Weatherby Pavilion at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock to accommodate a 24-bed tertiary older adult acute program. Construction is anticipated to start late this year with completion targeted for summer 2011. The total project cost is an estimated $1 million.

- The second floor of Parkholm Lodge in Chilliwack to accommodate a 20-bed tertiary rehabilitation program. Construction is anticipated to start late this year with completion targeted for summer 2011. The total project cost is about $2 million.

- Bear Creek Lodge in Surrey to accommodate a 59-bed tertiary adult acute program, which will include four smaller units – an intensive care unit, two assessment and treatment acute units, and an intensive tertiary rehabilitation unit. Construction is anticipated to start in March 2011 with completion targeted for late spring 2012. The total project cost is around $24 million, including $6.6 million to purchase the facility.

- Renovations to two units at Detwiller Pavilion at UBC Hospital to house an adult tertiary rehab program and, eventually, a 25-bed provincial refractory mental health program to support the most complex patients. Construction is anticipated to start in the spring 2010 with completion in November 2010. The total project cost is an estimated $2.5 million.

- Willow Pavilion in Vancouver will undergo extensive renovations to a currently vacant, six-storey, concrete hospital building. The project will accommodate a total of 80 beds, including adult and older adult tertiary assessment and treatment and rehabilitation. Completion is estimated for early 2012. The total project cost is approximately $28 million.

- Willow Chest at Vancouver General Hospital will be renovated to accommodate 20 rehabilitation beds with an estimated completion date of summer 2011. The total project cost is approximately $2.5 million.

- Kiwanis Village in Gibsons will undergo renovations to include 28 rehabilitation beds with completion expected by summer 2011. The total project cost is approximately $3.7 million.

- Langara Residence at Providence Health Care in Vancouver will undergo renovations to the first floor to create 20 neuropsychiatry beds with completion targeted for March 2011. The total project cost is approximately $1.7 million.

- Youville Residence at Providence Health Care in Vancouver will renovate two floors of a six-storey structure to create 42 older adult behaviour stabilization beds with completion estimated by fall 2011. The total project cost is approximately $5 million.

The beds are a portion of the 267 allocated to Fraser Health and the 229 being developed within Vancouver Coastal Health.

All of these beds are part of the $138-million Riverview Redevelopment Project, with the goal to build capacity for intensive and highly specialized services within the regional health authorities – bringing care into communities and closer to families, services and local health resources. The beds at Riverview Hospital are being decentralized in a bed-for-bed replacement initiative. As new beds are developed by the health authorities, patients are transferred to these facilities, along with the financial resources for their care. The remaining capital amount of $82.5 million will fund the additional projects.

“These developments are an important health care investment for Fraser Health and our communities,” said Sue Melynchuk, Fraser Health director of Tertiary Programs, Mental Health and Addictions. “We have already transferred 160 beds to sites in Delta, Coquitlam and Langley. These new programs will help us to not only support current Riverview patients, but also to best meet the future mental health needs of our population.”

“We are pleased that Vancouver Coastal Health can proceed with this important redevelopment,” said Lorna Howes, co-chair of the Tertiary Mental Health Implementation Committee of Vancouver Coastal Health. “We have significant mental health challenges within our region, so it is crucial that we have the programs, services and beds in place to support them.

” The Ministry of Health Services has made it a priority to build a comprehensive system of mental health and addictions services across the province by increasing spending on mental health and addictions as well as investment in capital facilities through the Riverview Hospital Redevelopment project.

The province also opened in 2008 the Burnaby Centre for Mental Health and Addiction as a fully functioning treatment centre to help some of B.C.’s most vulnerable and challenged citizens. The 100-bed centre provides treatment to adults who are medically stable with a range of mental health and addiction issues and is the first of its kind in British Columbia. An additional 44 beds for adults are in the process of opening on the Riverview grounds to provide transitional, supportive housing for clients coming out of the Burnaby Centre.

The Request for Proposals will be posted on the Provincial Government BC Bid website at www.bcbid.gov.bc.ca.


Media contacts:
Ministry of Health Services Public Affairs Bureau
250 952-1887 (media line)
Fraser Health media pager 604 450-7881

Anna Marie D’Angelo
Senior Media Relations Officer
Vancouver Coastal Health
604 708-5340
604 790-4763 (cell)

For more information on government services or to subscribe to the Province’s news feeds using RSS, visit the Province’s website at www.gov.bc.ca.